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I Knew You Were Waiting: Funky Town Grooves Expands More From Aretha Franklin

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Aretha - ArethaFunky Town Grooves is showing some love for the Queen of Soul.

Following the label’s 2012 two-disc expansion of Aretha Franklin’s 1985 “comeback” Who’s Zoomin’ Who, December will see similar releases for two more titles plucked from her Arista catalogue: 1986’s Aretha (her second album of that name for Arista) and 1989’s Through the Storm.

Aretha welcomed back producer Narada Michael Walden and yielded a number of chart hits including a rowdy take on The Rolling Stones’ “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” featuring moonlighting Stones Keith Richards (who also produced the track) and Ron Wood, “Jimmy Lee,” “If You Need My Love Tonight” and a duet with George Michael, “I Knew You Were Waiting for Me.”   The latter earned the Queen her first No. 1 Pop single since “Respect” in 1967, and helped propel Aretha to Gold status.  FTG adds a whopping 19 bonus tracks to the original 9-song album which also featured a sublime rendition of the Burton Lane/E.Y. Harburg standard “Look to the Rainbow,” from the musical Finian’s Rainbow.  The bonus material includes five different mixes each of “Rock-a-Lott,” “I Knew You Were Waiting for Me,” and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” plus the single edit of “An Angel Cries,” two mixes of “Jimmy Lee,” and the non-album “Aretha Megamix.”

Aretha - StormFranklin followed her pop smash with a return to her gospel roots via One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, but was back in the secular realm with 1989’s Through the Storm, the second of FTG’s new 2-CD reissues.  Disappointingly, the short, eight-song album again overseen by Narada Michael Walden stalled outside of the top 50 on the Billboard 200 despite the Top 20 single hit with the title track featuring Elton John.  That duet is one of the four on the LP.  It also features Whitney Houston on “It Isn’t, It Wasn’t, It Ain’t Never Gonna Be,” which like “Through the Storm” was written by the team of Albert Hammond (“It Never Rains in Southern California”) and the ubiquitous Diane Warren.  The Four Tops and Kenny G join Franklin on “If Ever a Love There Was,” and Soul Brother No. 1 James Brown drops in for “Gimme Your Love.”  FTG is adding 18 bonus cuts: six versions of the Brown duet plus an interview with Brown and Franklin on the first disc, and eleven, count ‘em, eleven mixes of “It Isn’t, It Wasn’t, It Ain’t Never Gonna Be” on Disc Two.

After the jump, we have more on these titles including pre-order links and the complete track listings! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

November 14, 2014 at 11:30